Talk About Something You Like
A raw and sincere solo show about madness, performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
This article is from 2014.
The show’s title refers to the fifth positive activity encouraged by doctors in the mental institution where solo performer Byron Vincent was once sectioned – but ironically, as he points out, that’s what got most of the residents put there in the first place. It’s a typical example of Vincent’s disarming combination of sometimes uncomfortable honesty and quick wit in the show, as he recounts dark episodes when he went seriously off the rails, the childhood weirdnesses that foreshadowed later troubles, and his frustrations at not being able to hold down a relationship. It’s far from a sombre or self-indulgent hour, though, and Vincent’s a natural at conveying the (often very funny) ridiculousness of his actions. And although the show is pretty rambling and ragged in places – it feels more like a succession of anecdotes than a carefully structured whole – that’s more than made up for by the rawness and sincerity of Vincent’s delivery. He seems (understandably) reluctant to delve into possible causes for his conditions, but his final heartfelt plea for a less panicked acceptance of ‘madness’ strikes home with strength.
Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 24 Aug (not 11, 18), £9–£12 (£8–£11).